by Stan Bargmeyer, Coma News Daily intern
A friend of mine recently traveled to Juba, South Sudan and he didn’t even bring me back a cool souvenir. It really bothered me because I thought for sure I would get a cool key chain or a coffee mug with a funny saying on it like “You’re Drinking Java In A Mug From Juba” or something memorable like that. But he didn’t bring me back anything at all.
When I asked him about it, he said he was too busy working to help build fresh-water wells to provide drinking water to local villages in the area. He also said it wasn’t “that kind of trip.”
I have a hard time believing he didn’t have at least ten minutes to pop into an ABC Store or some local souvenir shop that sells cool t-shirts that have pictures of wolves or dolphins on them or maybe a bag of some local nut or fruit covered in chocolate. What I think really happened was he forgot about me. He probably bought souvenirs for all his other friends but not me. And then when he realized he failed to get me something he made up a story about how impoverished the region is and they don’t have souvenir shops and he was only there to work and help people have greater access to clean drinking water.
People dont’t go to fun, exotic places like Juba, South Sudan and NOT get souvenirs for their closest friends. Maybe he lost track of his souvenir shopping list in between Mai-Tais or Pina Coladas. Maybe he spent all his money on a zip-line excursion through the rich, fertile jungles of South Sudan. Whatever his reason, I just wish he would be honest with me and tell me he forgot to get me something.
Like a beach towel featuring images of South Sudan’s most popular tourist attractions or native wildlife. Or even a baseball cap with a fun saying on it like “Chillin’ Juba Style”.
I don’t think it would have been too much to ask of him to get a small gift or token to show he was thinking of me while enjoying the all-inclusive amenities of what was certainly a top-notch hotel resort. Maybe he’s not really a friend after all.